Reviews of San Francisco Ballet
And the entire company rose to the challenges of the final work, Jerome Robbins’s Glass Pieces, created in 1983 when the choreographer was 65, yet revealing such instinctive modernism that it still looks entirely contemporary. Against a setting of yellow graph paper that the choreographer himself created with Ronald Bates, the dancers criss-cross the stage with firm purpose and long, bent-legged strides.
SFB can seem to encapsulate the repertory of several companies, given the number of new ballets they regularly commission. And this summer, during their three-week residency at the Théâtre du Châtelet, they might well be beating some kind of record, dancing no less than 16 one-act ballets, including recently created works by Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon, and the latest ballet by Liam Scarlett, whose Hummingbird is set to the Tirol Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by Philip Glass.
Having a strong company style is usually no bad thing, especially if – as with San Francisco Ballet – the main component of it is a commitment to excellence. It has been impressive watching the gritty energy with which, night after night, the American visitors to Paris dish up meaty triple bills (most pieces coming in at 35 minutes or longer) and serve them with éclat. Polish and professionalism like this help dancers keep going through a gruelling tour, and ensure audiences go away happy. But you can have too much of a good thing.